Chef (4)

When Jon Favreau released the first Iron Man, he was still seen as an exciting young director on his way up despite having credits like Made, Elf, and Zathura. Then came Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, and his name started to elicit more eye-rolls than smiles. But at SXSW this year, he unveiled what seems to be a return to form: a crowd-pleasing indie called Chef.

In it, Favreau plays a once-acclaimed chef rebuilding his life after a heavily YouTubed incident sends his career on the skids. He’s also dealing with a gorgeous ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and an adorable moppet of a son (Emjay Anthony). So how does this latest effort stack up against some of Favreau’s critically scorned tentpole output? Get the word from SXSW and check out some first-look photos after the jump.

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Early Buzz: ‘Dumb and Dumber To’

Dumb and Dumber To

Few imagined we’d ever see a sequel to Dumb and Dumber, but come November it’s happening. The Farrelly Brothers have begun to test screen Dumb and Dumber To, their two-decades-in-the-making sequel starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. One of those screenings took place last night, and some attendees took to Twitter to air their reaction to the first public screening of the film. Read their comments below. Read More »

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Film fans have been anticipating The Grand Budapest Hotel since just after the credits rolled on Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson is one of a select group of filmmakers who can be relied upon to craft a special film, no matter what it is about or who is in it. With Anderson’s latest kicking off the Berlin Film Festival Thursday, the first batch of reviews have hit Twitter and various websites. They’re almost uniformly ecstatic.

The Grand Budapest Hotel opens March 7 in the U.S. but read some of the first reviews below. Read More »

The Raid 2

The world premiere screening of Gareth Evans‘ highly anticipated sequel, The Raid 2, just finished at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and the response was electric. We’ll have a review and video blog soon but, for now, we’ve compiled a bunch of tweets from movie bloggers and filmmakers alike to give you an idea of what you can expect when the film hits on March 28. Here are two to get the ball rolling:

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Best Movies of 2013, According to IMDb Users

Waar

Over the past few weeks, and for the next few months, discussions will center on the best films of 2013. I did a list, the /Filmcast did a list and innumerable others will do the same leading up to the moment the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences crowns their best film of the year with the Best Picture Oscar.

But what do even bigger audiences think? Many film fans don’t have a blog, paper or podcast to spout off on. Many of those people turn to the Internet Movie Database to vote on the films they loved best in any given year. Now, the IMDB has published their top 50 films of 2013 according to over 10,000 users. Check it out below. Read More »

Nymphomaniac

Lars von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac has attracted a lot of attention, that’s for sure, but is it actually good enough to sustain that attention? Happily for his fans, the answer seems to be a resounding yes. Reviews have begun trickling out of Europe, where the film opens later this month, and so far the consensus is that — for all the hubbub about its hardcore sex scenes — it’s more of an intellectual stimulation than a sexual one.

To be clear, the reviews are all for the two-part, four-hour edit of the movie, not the five-and-a-half-hour director’s cut that von Trier favors. The former is the version that’ll hit theaters around the world; when, where, and how the latter version will be released remains unclear. For now, though, it seems the four-hour cut is perfectly satisfying on its own. Reviewers remarked that the film feels pretty complete as it is, and one stressed that regardless of whether von Trier had the final say, “Nymphomaniac couldn’t have been made by anyone else”

Hit the jump to read the early buzz.

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SAVING MR. BANKS

Disney has three big films coming out this holiday season, but only one is about the company itself. That’s Saving Mr. Banks, the true story of Walt Disney’s courting of author P.L. Travers for the rights to her book, Mary Poppins. Directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), the film features Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Travers. It opens December 13 in the U.S. but had its world premiere this weekend at the London Film Festival.

So how is it? The first reviews are out and while everyone seems to agree there’s plenty of Disney magic, and some people even smell Oscars, a few don’t necessarily think it works. Read a bunch of reviews below. Read More »

Tims Vermeer

Of all the films that got incredible buzz out of last week’s Telluride Film Festival (12 Years A Slave, Labor Day, Gravity, etc.) one stood out just because it sounded so very different. That film was Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by noted magicians Penn and Teller. Penn produced and Teller directed the film, which follows inventor Tim Jenison on his attempt to duplicate the famous painting The Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer. Jenison surmises that Vermeer may not have painted all his famous works by hand, instead using technology to aide in the creation. By attempting this, Jenison (as well as Penn and Teller) question the very nature of art itself.

Below, we’ve got a clip from the film that makes that above paragraph a bit more clear, as well as some early buzz from noted film critics. Read More »

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